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Back from Crested Butte

As mentioned a few days ago, Hanna and I went out to Crested Butte, CO, for Spring Break. This was the last weekend the resort was open - and boy was it a great time to visit! The trip was not without hassles, of course. Leave it to the airline industry to find some way to dampen the spirits!

We got on our plane in Dulles eaaaaarly in the morning. And then sat there for 2 hours. The plane had a mechanical problem, which eventually caused us to return to the gate and switch planes (hooray for UAL having another plane!). Somehow in the process my checked bag got transferred, but Hanna's did not. Where this gets very annoying is that Hanna's bag eventually made it to Gunnison by 5pm, which we know because the local airline rep called and said she had the bag. She promised delivery by 8pm. 8:30pm rolled around and no bag - so I called UAL customer service. This customer service automaton finds out that the bag has been doled out for delivery, there's no way to reach the driver, it should arrive by midnight. What!?!?!?! I was livid, to say the least. And worse, the customer service rep offered nothing but condolences on our situation. No offer of compensation. Nothing! I eventually hung up on him because he kept repeating a textbook "I'm sorry sir, that your bag is delayed, but I've done all that I can. I'd be upset if my bag were misplaced, too."

We had been up since 3:30am EDT and were exhausted. In fact, we kept falling asleep, waiting for her bag. Shortly after midnight, I awoke with a start, checked outside the door, and there it was. Finally, we had her bag!

On the return trip, we did, however, get to take advantage of the system. To save a couple hundred dollars, I had booked a 3-hop itinerary back to Dulles. However, at the gate in Denver they announced an overbook situation and immediately offered free tickets! So, I quickly stepped up and got our tickets switched. The gate agent, however, told us that we could not receive the free tickets because our new direct flight would put us into Dulles earlier. She did, however, upgrade us to business class (on a Boeing 777, nonetheless -- a wonderful experience!).

When we got to our new gate, I checked the original itinerary and realized that we were, in fact, getting in later than originally scheduled. So, I boldly marched back to the original counter and inquired about this discrepancy - to which I promptly received 2 round-trip US Domestic tickets on United/United Express. Bonus! And, on top of it all, our bags were kept on the original itinerary, which meant that their plane arrived about 30 minutes ahead of ours. This was a very good outcome because Dulles is notoriously slow with checked luggage due to the layout of the terminals. We walked off the plane, down to the baggage claim carousel for our original flight, grabbed our bags immediately, and headed out. Cool!

Anyway, back to the trip...

I've posted a few pictures from the trip on my web site. The photos are mostly from the fresh snow we received on our first night/morning there.

On our first night there (Wed.), we ate dinner at Slogar. This is a family-style restaurant with a set menu (your entrée is either fried chicken or steak) -- and boy, what a menu! We liked it so much, we ate there again on Friday night.

As luck would have it, we also found an excellent Italian restaurant - Marchitelli's Gourmet Noodle. We ate there both Thursday and Saturday evenings.

In addition to eating well, we also availed ourselves of the numerous sales happening all over town (no less than 30% off, and oftentimes 50% or more). Hanna and I were able to pick up quite a few items at reasonable to average prices (after the discount). We did our best to spread our money around to multiple shops. It's fun to shop when the signs all say "50% Off"! :)

Why all the end of season sales, particularly in an area with an active Summer clientèle? Well, there's apparently a 6 week "off-season" between closing the resort of Memorial Day. During this time, the vast majority of the town closes down and folks head off on their own holidays. As such, the stores were trying to move out as much merchandise as possible before the closure period.

Other references:
   * Crested Butte Lodging
   * Crested Butte Resort
   * Paradise Cafe - best breakfast in town!


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 8, 2007 10:12 PM.

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